Never Is Too Late
I was tempted to do a recap of the year just finished and a roundup of goals for this one. And, of course, I was going to post this around January 1. Then I thought: Why? Why not wait until, say, January 28? Maybe by then I will be a little more confident in achieving what I set out to do. Maybe I’ll have already abandoned or adjusted practices that proved too flimsy to follow, too stubborn to shake. Then my list will be more reasonable, less reckless.
You see, January 1, while providing an unspoiled calendar upon which to dream and plot and pretend to be in charge, is really just a date. Granted it’s a date many of us go through hungover (from too much drinking) or hungry (from starting a new diet) or hurting (from overdoing the new exercise program), but that discomfort soon fades as new habits gain hold or old ones return.
Still, I think runners in particular are encoded to prepare well in advance to do something big, like finally run a dream race, surpass a certain distance or hit a finish line with an impressive time. It might be traveling afar by foot, or even tackling a difficult hiking challenge close to home. If you’re ambitious and privileged enough to control your own schedule, it could be all of these.
So this list of mine is mainly for me to keep things straight in the 11 months left in the year. Will plans go off without a hitch? Hell no. They never do. But a girl can dream and a blog can fill with posts showing that:
- I will complete the Mission Trails 5-Peak Challenge. I’ve actually done all five peaks but over the span of years. I'd like to compress that to several weeks this time around. I started last week and will finish up on Feb. 22 if weather and schedules permit.
- I will finally run the Carlsbad 5000. I’ve entered this annual footrace at least 5 times and only done it twice. Once was just days after sinus surgery and the other was to accompany a friend with bad knees. I walked both times. This year, I’m gonna run all 3.1 miles as fast as I can.
- I will attend both Wondercon and Comic-Con. At a party last year, people kept telling me to go to Wondercon since it is what Comic-Con was like before Hollywood came to town. I’d like to hear how the creatives in the business work their magic. But I also wouldn’t mind another go at the circus that is my hometown’s main event each July.
- I will run/hike the entire length and back of Los Penasquitos Canyon. That’s 14 miles RT from my house on the edge of the preserve. It's an easy trail, but looooong. I’ve got plenty of practice hikes to help me prepare for the big one.
- I will hike in a new part of California. This is a bit of a cheat because I am 95% sure it will be in Sequoia and King’s Canyon national parks. We booked our room at a park lodge months ago. Very excited to do some serious forest bathing and just pray our ancient pup Pip will survive a few days without us. I misread the pet policy that limits dogs to under 30 pounds. Our girl’s big, though slender for her breed.
- I will run the Scripps Ranch 10k. It’s been years since I did the longer 4th of July race and about time I took on that distance again. Always a crapshoot with the weather, but if all goes well, I might even enter the beer garden for the first time ever to celebrate.
- I will visit Oregon again this summer. It’s a wonderful state and I’ve been away long enough to appreciate the natural beauty and recreational opportunities when we visit. Hoping to actually stay in a yurt this year!
- I will take another big trip in the late fall. Maybe two. One's to celebrate my husband’s big birthday and even though he never reads this, I’m superstitious. But it involves 8 of us flying east and jumping to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” at some point in the trip. The other involves a portion of the Pacific Coast Trail.
- I will consider running the San Diego Holiday Half Marathon in December. This is a stretch, which is why the language is quite conditional. But I know the course because I used to cycle it to work every day back in the mid-2000s. And if I build up distance slowly, and watch what I’m doing, I might be able to end the year finishing my first half marathon in five years.
- I will chronicle every day of the year in a two-part video. I did it five years ago so it’s time to do it again. Already I’m amazed at how little has changed, and how much.
Notice these are all goals with a finish point. And there are clear ways to accomplish them, from training to tucking away funds. Nothing about eating less and exercising more, but to achieve them, I will. Nothing about saving money, but to fulfill these, I must. If all of these things happen, and right now there’s no reason to think they won’t, then it will be a banner year. Even if I didn't officially outline these goals 27 days ago.